XS3/SN3 or 200DR?

I am currently using an Elex-R which is decent, but lacks punch/grip in the bass area. I was considering a XS3 or SN3 to replace the Elex, but was wondering if it might be better to get the NAP 200DR and use the Elex as a pre-amp until I can get a Naim Pre-amp.’

Thanks in advance.

This is surely when listening to the various options is the only way to go. Do you prefer a 202/200 or 282/200 to a Nait? If you later get a Hicap DR, you’ll find a 200 pretty much identical to a 200DR, but a lot cheaper. If you get the 202 you really need a napsc. How many boxes do you want?

Is changing your speakers to match the capabilities of the Elex-R and your room a possibility?

The 200 is a nice amp, but I wouldn’t say that “punch/grip in the bass area” were it’s strong points. If that’s what you want, a 250 will give you so much more. Obviously it will be more expensive, especially with a matching preamp, and I’m not just saying this to persuade you to spend more cash on ‘better’ gear, but because that is how the character of these two amps compare in my experience.

I will keep the speakers which are Dynaudio Focus 110 (the older version) which I thoroughly enjoy.

I remember now, you were thinking of upgrading your NAP155XS earlier this year.

I almost did get the combo which were being sold heavily discounted, but held off not sure if the amp would have enough power.

I would not use the rega as preamp with the 200DR

I would just get a SN3

Or get 202 (these are sometimes available for a good price) to go with the 200 DR
Or other Naim preamps, like 102, 82, 72… these all can be powered by the 200 DR

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FWIW - I have owned a XS 2 and currently own a SN 2 and can recommend the integrated amps, they have worked well for me. When setting up my current system my goal was to have a simple low box count systems as I planed to move into my retirement years. Currently have a streamer with power supply feeding my integrated amp sitting on a rack. (see profile). So at present 3 boxes sitting on a rack with a pair of floor standing speakers.

So where are you headed in your hi fi journey? …whats the size of your room? …are you looking to move into a multi box solution with lots of potential for upward growth? A little more information on what you are thinking and where you eventually want to be might help others provide recommendations.

Right now I would say you would be happy with one of the integrated amps.


Hi: I’m kinda in the same boat (er, kayak) as you are. 64, retired, 50-year audio hobbyist, former SoundStage! reviewer and part-time shop owner (until we adopted 4 kids- then audio went back burner for about 12 years) looking for a bit better resolution (not necessarily bass extension) in my system. Not looking to long term build a new system, but may do separate amp/pre-amp. Room is 14 x 12 x 8, acoustically treated, so the Dyns are adequate for my listening tastes. ProJect t-t, Saturn-R.

Since I do phono, maybe an integrated might be the way to go, adding a Flat or Hi-Cap if there really do what they want.

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Both the new Naits have a built in MM phono stage. You can power a Stageline from the preamps, or the Naits (XS and SN) giving the choice of MC if you need that.

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Mike, I do believe one of the integrated amps would suit your needs. I have a room slightly larger than yours and the SN2 I have works quite well and and can run a CD player and Turntable with a StageLine or SuperLine phono stage. As HH mentions above the XS3 and SN3 have a built in Phono stage and will support a moving magnet cartridge and will support you Saturn-R as well.

As everyone always says, go see a dealer and hear for yourself and see if you can arrange a home demo.

Good luck with your decision.

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I guess the used source or speakers play a role when lacking in bass area ?
A Elex/R is mighty fine allthough a SN2 or 202/200/Hicap will grip better in lows, I,m not sure amplifiers will solve issue completely.


HH. Are you saying running a HiCap DR with a 202/200DR/NAPSC2 is a waste of time and you should just stick with the 202/200DR/NAPSC2? I was planning to do the former.

Source is a Rega Saturn-R (almost 2x the price of the Elex), so I’d figure the amplification could be a bit better, hence my search. Speakers are Dynaudio Focus 110 (the older design)

The 200DR supplies DR power to the preamp, (as does the HicapDR) but it’s a single rail supply. The Hicap is a dual rail supply, and of course, has the benefit of isolation in a separate box. Listen for yourself, of course, but I think you’ll find the HicapDR is a good step up from the 200DR.

When using a Hicap the 200DR offers no advantages over a NAP200.

Yes, that’s the point I was making. The there is no point shelling out for a 200DR if a Hicap will ultimately be used to power the preamp.

Maybe I’m just not making my point.

The question in my OP was integrated or separates. For now using Elex-R as pre until funds allow for a Naim pre.

Example: SN3 plus Hi-Cap DR = $7200 USD or NAC 202 + NAP 200DR + $7800. Are separates the better performer?

We can’t tell you what to do. You need to go and listen, taking account of your budget and your attitude towards box count, bearing in mind that each box needs its own shelf.